We love wildflowers just as much as we love turf. Both provide different benefits that are vital in the urban environment. Where turf creates a soft, comfortable, safe, and pest-free place for picnics and play, wildflowers provide a beautiful, inviting space for pollinators. Wildflowers are lower maintenance, while turf improves curb appeal. Both have deep root systems that increase the soil’s capacity to store water and significantly reduce water runoff and flooding. Both sequester carbon from the atmosphere, with only old-growth forests storing more carbon than a healthy stand of turf.
These alternatives fill different needs in our environment and should not be considered replacements for one another. We need both. You can’t go out back and have a catch with the kids in an area that, by design, is 4 feet tall and attractive to stinging insects. And, by design, the monoculture of fine turfgrass does not create the habitat so crucial for the survival of these important insects. Because we continue to develop urban and suburban areas, now it is more important than ever to evaluate our outdoor spaces and create sanctuaries that meet crucial demands.
We recently started to create and maintain wildflower meadows of all sizes for our customers. If you are interested in a wildflower meadow or garden for your home, please give us a call at 301-870-3411
Why planting wildflowers makes a difference
“Wildflowers provide a lot of benefits, even when there’s not a flower present,” says Clay Bolt, a natural history photographer, and communications lead for World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Northern Great Plains program.
Their root systems, along with those of other grassland plants, extend deep into the soil, storing water and nutrients while holding on to carbon that would otherwise be released into the air. He likens grasslands to an inverted forest, where much of the growth is underground and invisible.
Why Garden with Native Wildflowers?
Native plants are adapted to the local climate and soil conditions where they naturally occur. These important plant species provide nectar, pollen, and seeds that serve as food for native butterflies, insects, birds, and other animals.
Native plants are also advantageous, because:
- Native plants do not require fertilizers and require fewer pesticides
- Native plants require less water and help prevent erosion.
- The deep root systems of many native plants increase the soil’s capacity to store water. Native plants can significantly reduce water runoff and, consequently, flooding.
- Native plants help reduce air pollution.
- Native plants provide shelter and food for wildlife.
- Native plants promote biodiversity and stewardship of our natural heritage.
- Native plants are beautiful and increase scenic values!